Wales exported more than £470m worth of goods to Ireland in the final quarter of 2018, according to new data released.
The latest figures mean that Wales exported over £1.5bn of goods across the Irish Sea in 2018, representing a significant upturn from 2017 when Welsh-Irish exports were valued at £992m, an increase of 52%.
Ireland is Wales’ third largest export destination for goods, following Germany and France, with billions of pounds worth of Welsh food, drink, technology and petroleum products making its way to the country every single year.
One Welsh business capitalising on exports to Ireland is Cardiff-based Object Matrix, which provides hybrid cloud storage solutions to companies enabling them to easily store and manage digital content with little management. The company has exported more than €750k worth of goods and services to Ireland since it began exporting to the country in 2011.
Object Matrix provides its technology to a number of major clients in the region including Ireland’s largest independent commercial broadcaster and media conglomerate, Virgin Media (formerly TV3), which it has been working with for over eight years.
Nick Pearce-Tomenius, co-founder and sales and marketing director at Object Matrix said:
“Exporting to Ireland has played a vital role in helping Object Matrix’s expansion and export growth over recent years. Exports to Ireland account for over €125,000 worth of our sales every year with Virgin Media TV representing a key client for us. We are looking to expand our trade in Ireland and are currently in talks regarding further potential deals in the region. In fact, we are set to return to the country at the end of the month to discuss these.”
And against the backdrop of such a significant upturn in Welsh-Irish exports, the Welsh Government believes that post-Brexit, trade relations will continue to prosper.
Eluned Morgan, Minister for International Relations explained:
“Regardless of whether Wales is in or out of the EU, Ireland is still our neighbour and a key trading partner. We are committed to strengthening the important relationship that Wales has with Ireland and to ensure that despite the turbulent UK political landscape our economic links remain as robust as ever.
“With £1.5bn of welsh exports going to Ireland, demonstrates the importance of one of our closest neighbours to the market of Wales. The Welsh Government will ensure it will do everything possible to ensure that growth is maintained and that support is made available to support Welsh companies who export and also support will be made available to companies who are looking to relocate to our great country.”
Economy Minister Ken Skates said:
“Despite the continued uncertainty stemming from UK Government’s chaotic handling of Brexit, the value of exports from Wales is increasing, with exports to EU countries up by £556m in 2018, accounting for over 61% of Welsh exports. This is largely due to our proactive and business friendly approach during what are undoubtedly challenging times.
“Our relationship with Ireland is a vital part of this success and as the Welsh Government’s Economic Action Plan makes clear, we are determined to ensure we continue to work together to ensure this growth, and its mutual benefits to both the Irish and Welsh economies, is maintained and built upon.”